U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
The Use of Uniformed Police Officers - X. Recommendations
Report of Findings [FHWA Docket No. FHWA-1999-5387]
As a result of this study effort, the following actions are strongly suggested by FHWA.
- Agencies using Federal-aid highway funds to assign uniformed police officers
to highway work zones should coordinate with state law enforcement agencies
to develop written policies and guidelines addressing the following:
- situations where uniformed police officers are recommended;
- the work zone traffic control planning process; and
- officer pay, work procedures, supervision, etc.
- Since federal regulations require the use of MUTCD signing and flagging
procedures at Federal-aid highway construction work zones, FHWA recommends
that police officers assigned to Federally funded highway work zones receive
training in MUTCD procedures.
- The FHWA encourages agencies to gather data on traffic safety incidents
at Federally funded highway work zones to better assess the effectiveness
of work zone traffic control techniques. Few agencies track crashes, fatalities,
and injuries in work zones separately and, those that do so, generally do
not record the conditions at the site at the time of the crash, including
whether an officer was present.
- FHWA further recommends that agencies consider using new traffic control
technologies, such as automated enforcement and intrusion alarms, as well
as uniformed police officers, to improve traffic safety at highway work zones.
FUTURE RESEARCH NEEDS
Future research needed:
Absent quantified data such as crash or work zone statistics and analysis, indicate a need for a well-designed evaluation to determine the effectiveness of police officers in work zones. In addition to test sites where police officers are used, this evaluation should include comparable control sites where police officers are not used. A formal experimental plan should be developed that specifies the number of sites to be evaluated, the duration of the evaluation period, the statistical techniques to the used, and the accidents to types to consider. Traffic volumes on the test and control sites should be documented both before and after police officers are used.
Page last modified on April 1, 2019